The Texas Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that a Comanche County contractor submitted the lowest bid for construction of the Dublin Loop.

Prater Equipment Company in Blanket submitted a bid of $8.7 million, which will be awarded formally by the Texas Transportation Commission at its next board meeting later this month. TxDOT budgeted up to $9 million for the project. Jay Mills Contracting Inc. of Stephenville also submitted a bid.

Prater has built numerous highways for TxDOT in Comanche and Brown counties as well as FM 219 from Lingleville to Dublin in 2007.

The loop will be built in two segments. The first phase of construction is scheduled to begin in early 2013 with utility work beginning this fall. The estimated completion of the 3.1 mile, four-lane divided highway is slated for 2014.

"This will help move traffic out of Dublin, but it will be a lot better when the second phase is completed," said Mark Pirkle, Prater vice president and co-owner.

The first segment will be designated State Highway 267 until the second phase is complete, then renamed to SH 67/U.S. Highway 377. Patrick Street in Dublin will then be renamed Business 67/377.